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Raising SPD Awareness

NORTHERN ECHO, JAN 10, 2012, page 11.

ARTICLE: Sarah raises awareness of disabling condition.

A WOMAN who was told she could not have children, only to be left disabled following the birth of her son, has set up a charity to help others with her condition.
    Sarah Dightam, who has endometriosis, developed symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD, also known as pelvic girdle pain, when she was 12 weeks pregnant.

However, because of underlying joint problems, the condition left her in a wheelchair.
    Mrs Dightam, 24, from Newton Aycliffe, said: "It is a common occurrence that is often put down to pregnancy pains, but in a rare number of occasions it can develop and lead to permanent disability.
    "I just woke up and I couldn't turn round in bed. It was as quick as that; one morning I just couldn't turn in bed.
    "I went to see a physiotherapist and they told me I had SPD and that was the first time I had ever heard about it. It was so severe that it put me in a wheelchair."
    Mrs Dightam was in so much pain that she was induced 38 weeks into her pregnancy when she gave birth to her son, Brandon, now two.
She said she suffered unnecessary delays receiving treatment and wants to raise awareness of the condition and possibly fund research and training.
    She said simple techniques during pregnancy and childbirth-such as manual therapy, not using stirrups and staying in symmetrical positions-could have helped her significantly.

She said: "Because SPD and joint conditions are invisible illnesses, it is often very hard for women to be believed or diagnosed. Because we look fine, people just think we are."

To find out more about the charity and the condition visit www.supportpelvicdysfunction.co.uk

Sarah Dightam,
3 Feb 2012, 03:01